Church minister farewelled after 39 years

A Congregational Christian Church of Samoa minister who served for 39 years in Saoluafata has been farewelled by his congregation.

Reverend Limua’a and his wife Daru Samuelu were among seven elders of the church who were recognised on Saturday for their service and will now retire having reached the retirement age of 70.

In an interview with the Samoa Observer, Rev. Limua’a said despite reaching the retirement age of 70 his heart is still with the church and its congregation.

"This is hard for us leaving what we love and aspire in by serving as a church minister for more than 30 years now,” he said. 

“Despite that we are just thankful and grateful for this whole time for us to serve for the Church, especially the village who have been called 'home' for more than 30 years for me and my family.”

Rev. Limua’a added that he and his family are honored and delighted that their term has finally concluded, but in their hearts they are still keen on serving the church and the congregation. 

"For that, we are very honored and delighted that our term has finally finished, but within our hearts we are still and continue to serve for the Church and its people, even though we will retire.

“But the work has not been stopped, we have also encouraged the people in believing in God's words and his leadership.”

Looking back on his journey over the last 39 years, Rev. Limua’a said they faced many difficulties within their ministry which took them courage to deal with. 

"Every work has its own problems and difficulties, the stress we face sometimes we want to lose and might lose hope on this,” he added. 

“But at the very time faith is all we need and do take in order for us to move on in life and overcome the many obstacles we have faced every day, and also these obstacles lead us to a good way of knowing where we came from leading us to a great end just like yesterday's events.”

Coming from a family that has its roots in the church and missionary work, Rev. Limua’a said none of his siblings reached 70 during their ministry and he is thankful for the gift of life. 

"I came from a family where me and my other siblings are all serving as church ministers, some of my siblings did not reach this age like I do today (70th).

“I am the first to reach this for my siblings and for that I am thankful for the gift of life and family despite not having any of my family living here in Samoa, but the most important thing for me is my church congregation and my children.

"Reaching the age to get retired all the glory goes to God for his love, patience, courage and kindness and blessing for me and my family as well as my congregation (C.C.C.S Saoluafata) and the church as well, despite facing many difficulties within the Ministry we are very grateful for everything.”

Rev. Limua'a has served as the deacon for Pulega Anoama'a (Faifeau Toeaina) and is also treasurer and secretary as well. 

He also acknowledged the church for the continuous work that they have been doing for Samoa and its people.

"We also acknowledge the Church (Ekalesia) the handwork that we are still doing for our people, this is one of the hardest jobs we have ever come through with.

“But a massive job well done to each church minister for stepping up in preaching God's words for our people especially the young generation of Samoa, this is mainly the society that I will dearly miss is the development of the younger ones lives from their young age till being an adult.”

The C.C.C.S Saoluafata will host its farewell in July before Rev.Elder Limua'a and his family depart and relocate to their new home at Nu’ufou.

Fealagafu'e Peepee Va'a, who spoke on behalf of the C.C.C.S Saoluafata, acknowledged the service of Rev. Limua'a and his wife with children and they have done for the village and its people.

"We have prepared for our farewell departure for our Church Minister, we are thankful for everything they have done for our village,” he said. 

“They have played an important role not only for our parents but for our children and the young generation of the village. They are blessed to have them.

“But due to conditions given by the church it's sad to see them go but deep down all their efforts and hard work have paid off, many have achieved their goals because of our church minister for that we are forever thankful.”

Rev. Limua'a Samuelu and his wife Daru have five children and eight grandchildren.

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